The Problem With Spousal Benefits:
These benefits are given out for nothing, and they are very expensive. The married worker pays the exact rate structure as the single earner does.
Here is how it works :
Anyone who has reached full retirement age - whether they have contributed to Social Security or not - is eligible to collect Social Security benefits of up to 50% of the payments awarded to their spouse. While Anna Nicole Smith did not collect Social Security, it is possible that someone of her age to perserve the benefits due to her spouse's contributions to well over 100 years.
End Spousal Benefits:
The largest benefit of spousal benefits will go to people who had high-wages over the course of their career. This benefit specifically gives the largest payouts to someone whose wage was high, and whose spouse didn't work.
Spousal benefits made more sense 80 years ago. Today as more families have dual incomes, it is more difficult to justify the need much less the expense. The fact is that these benefits will tend to go disportionately to higher wage workers. Those are the families which can afford to have a one-earner household. When two earners have contributed roughly equally, there isn't much extra benefit.
Strictly Means Test Spousal Benefits:
This change would end Social Security checks going to spouses who didn't pay for the benefits, and do not need welfare support.
"What is Obama trying to cut from Social Security?", Laurence Kotlikoff